Maharashtra Private School teachers, MESTA requests FM’s intervention to provide interest free loans for parents, schools to pay salaries

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MESTA

– MESTA proposes interest free loans to parents, schools to pay salaries to teaching and non-teaching staff

– Compensate parents who cannot afford to pay fees through Direct Benefit Transfer System

– Include education sector as part of the Finance Ministry’s relief package for the nation

May 18, 2020: The Maharashtra English School Trustees Association (MESTA) has submitted a letter to Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance, Government of India, on behalf of crores of teaching and non-teaching staff across the country to provide necessary financial assistance to private schools and parents as many schools have started defaulting on salaries leaving the teaching and non-teaching staff apprehensive about their future.

MESTA had earlier written to Mr. Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India to issue loans to parents and private schools as incomes had dried up in families due to cost-cutting measures employed due to the COVID-19 pandemic by major conglomerates along with issuing pink-slips rendering the entire financial planning family in jeopardy.

Many state governments in India had issued a diktat to private schools issuing a ban on fee collection. MESTA has been rallying behind the teachers and support staff while at the same time it doesn’t not want to burden parents with the payment of school fees. Sanjay Tayade Patil, State President, MESTA has been calling for a solution for the two crore teaching and non-teaching staff across five lakh private schools who have been contributing towards providing uninterrupted education through various e-learning solutions. He iterates that they should get their dues and there shouldn’t be any adverse effect on their livelihood and survival.

Patil added that the Central Government and the Ministry of Finance, have issued an enormous healing package of Rs. 20 lakh crores for the Indian industry last week to lead India to the road to economic recovery. He added, in recent times, the ministry had announced a relief package of Rs. 1.7 lakh crores, towards food security and cash transfers to the poorest of poor and insurance cover for frontline medical personnel which was considered timely and prudent.

Also, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) initiated measures by cutting the reverse repo rate to provide special liquidity support to non-banking finance and microfinance companies, facilitate increased emergency funding for state governments, and the recent Rs. 500 billion liquidity line to mutual funds will ease many problems of multiple sectors and many people.

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Patil requested to Ms. Sitharaman to issue a similar package for the education industry as it is a part of the priority lending sector. “We request you to provide a similar and an immediate financial aid to the education sector to safeguard the jobs of crores of teaching and non-teaching staff, keep unaided education institutions functioning and prevent them from turning bankrupt. While certain states have allowed the collection of fees, many states are still to understand the value of salvaging the livelihood of our ‘gurus’ and non-teaching staff.”

He added that while states may have consented in allowing schools to pay fees, the prevailing issue of parents not being able to source liquidity for the education of their children remains. “In order to overcome this issue, we propose a three-point solution to the government which in sync with the government policies and not burden on the exchequer. The government should provide interest free loans for parents to fund their child’s education through direct benefit transfer. Secondly, similar loans should be provided to the schools to pay recurring costs such as teacher salaries, overheads and capital expenditures and thirdly, Direct Subsidy should be allowed on purchase of requisite computer hardware, such as laptops and computer desktops, as well as necessary software for continuation of education through online modes,” suggested Sanjay Patil adding that he this package isn’t a wavier but an advance to the education sector, which will reap dividend in the years to come and can be paid within less than a year.

ABOUT MAHARASHTRA ENGLISH SCHOOL TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION (MESTA – An non-profit making initiative to enhance and empower English school in Maharashtra), founded in 2014 under the leadership of Founder President Hon. Shri Sanjay Tayade Patil who is working for the betterment of the English medium school all over Maharashtra. MESTA being the exclusive and the only platform were the school trustees have received justice throughout against their various challenges, operational problems and grievances. MESTA has kept its unique and powerful existence by being able to forward these grievances and appeals to the government and create reformation in Maharashtra Education system. Under the guidance of Hon. Shri. Sanjay Tayade Patil and support of all state office bearers it was fruitfully possible to bring all the English medium schools under one roof of MESTA. Till today MESTA has succeeded in enrolling 18,000+ Trustee members and 80,000 teachers setting up MESTA branches in 37 district of Maharashtra.

Letter to Finance Minister_Requesting Interest free loans to parents, schools to pay salaries

To,                                                                                      May 17, 2020 The Hon’ble Union Finance Minister

Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman,

Govt. of India,

New Delhi

Sub: Submission for Financial Relief to Education Sector

Dear Madam,

This submission is to draw your attention towards the dire straits of school teachers and the support staff of unaided private schools across India. The education sector is facing severe disruptions and hardships like many others due to the ongoing COVID-19 led lockdown.

The Finance Ministry, under your able guidance and leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi ji, has been making exemplary efforts to provide relief and support to people and industries facing the worst impact of the crisis.

We deeply appreciate the critical and large-scale interventions by the Central Government and your Ministry to support people and industries. The recent boost of Rs. 20 lakh crores by your ministry to various sectors in the Indian industry will help the country during its transition to normalcy and create opportunities across all working classes of our society from the organized and unorganized sector.

In addition, the Rs. 1.7 lakh crore relief package announced towards food security and cash transfers to the poorest of poor and insurance cover for frontline medical personnel was timely and prudent. The measures by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to cut the reverse repo rate, provide special liquidity support to non-banking finance and microfinance companies, facilitate increased emergency funding for state governments, and the recent Rs. 500 billion liquidity line to mutual funds will ease many problems of multiple sectors and many people.

We request you to provide similar and immediate financial aid to the education sector to safeguard the jobs of crores of teaching and non-teaching staff, keep unaided education institutions functioning and prevent them from turning bankrupt.

The lives and livelihoods of private school teachers and non-teaching staff are currently at stake as they are likely to stop getting their monthly salaries and face retrenchments in large numbers as schools run out of funds. The extended period of lockdown due to COVID-19 has resulted in widespread job cuts and loss of income of people across states. With the inability of parents to pay school fees of their wards in the current scenario, unaided private schools have come under extreme financial stress.

Hence, despite education being a state subject, we request your urgent intervention for the education sector on the following:

Loans to parents, private educational institutions:

As education is under the priority lending sector, loan benefits provided to other priority sectors should also be extended to the education sector in these times of crisis.

a. Interest free loans should be made available for parents to fund their child’s education (including school fees, tuition fees, purchasing books and other study material, etc.). This loan would be returnable in 6 months.

b. Interest free loans should be made available to schools to pay recurring costs such as teacher salaries, overheads and capital expenditures.

c. Subsidy on purchase of requisite computer hardware, such as laptops and computer desktops, as well as necessary software for continuation of education through online modes, for schools, teachers and students. This loan would be returnable in 6 months.

It’s our earnest request to you to take cognizance of the plight of teachers across the country and announce immediate financial relief to save our teachers from losing out on salaries and jobs and prevent schools from shutting down.

Yours’ Sincerely

Sanjay Tayade Patil

State President

ABOUT MAHARASHTRA ENGLISH SCHOOL TRUSTEES ASSOCIATION (MESTA – An non-profit making initiative to enhance and empower English school in Maharashtra), founded in 2014 under the leadership of Founder President Hon. Shri Sanjay Tayade Patil who is working for the betterment of the English medium school all over Maharashtra. MESTA being the exclusive and the only platform were the school trustees have received justice throughout against their various challenges, operational problems and grievances. MESTA has kept its unique and powerful existence by being able to forward these grievances and appeals to the government and create reformation in Maharashtra Education system. Under the guidance of Hon. Shri. Sanjay Tayade Patil and support of all state office bearers it was fruitfully possible to bring all the English medium schools under one roof of MESTA. Till today MESTA has succeeded in enrolling 18,000+ Trustee members and 80,000 teachers setting up MESTA branches in 37 district of Maharashtra.

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